This past trip to London was one of my favorites so far. I stayed at some really fantastic hotels, saw a lot of cool art, and got to see a lot of friends. I’m already dying to go back. Today I’m sharing a little travel diary of what I did – if you are planning a trip to London, bookmark this post – if only for the art exhibits! Also, sorry for all the iPhone pics. I brought my good camera with me, but at the end of the day most of the time I just used the camera on my phone. And also, I’ve updated my London Travel Guide page with everything from this trip – it’s a nice easy way to put everything in one place.
For the first two nights of my trip, I stayed at The Ned, in London City. I really loved it. Next week I am going to talk more about it, but it was a beautiful hotel – designed/owned by the same team behind the Soho House.
I’d taken the redeye so I got in super early. I ate breakfast at one of the hotel’s 9 (!!!) restaurants, Millie’s (such a good greek yogurt parfait with banana slices and honey) and dropped my bags.
The first thing I did was head to The Tate Modern, which is probably my favorite art museum in the world. I love modern art and their permanent collection is incredible… and they always have an exhibit I want to see (last year’s Alexander Calder exhibit was unreal). Besides housing some incredible art, the building itself (a former power station) is so cool and interesting. I had heard really amazing things about the Giacometti exhibit and am so glad I went. I wasn’t familiar with his work prior to the trip but Alberto Giacomettti was one of the great painter-sculptors of the 20th century. I didn’t think such simple sculptures could carry so much emotion, but they do… especially his pieces from around WWII. The exhibit is the first large scale retrospective of his work, and in my opinion, a must! It will be on display through September 10th.
After the Giacometti exhibit I spent a couple hours just wandering around the museum’s permanent collection. I hadn’t been in a couple years and always forget what an incredible selection they have – so many of my favorite artists.
After museum hopping, I went home and did some work and then met a friend at Cecconi’s for a drink. They make the greatest Negronis!!! And then I hopped in an uber and headed to the Serpentine Gallery to meet my friend Ruby for the opening of their new pavilion. Every summer the Serpentine commissions a different artist to design their pavilion. At the end of the summer, the pavilion is auctioned off and all of the proceeds benefit the gallery. And then it all begins again the following year.
That night, Ruby and her husband took me to Groucho which is a private club in Soho. It was a pretty cool experience – kind of like Soho House but a bit more gritty and cool.
On Friday morning, I met up with my friend Ruby at the V&A Museum to see their new Pink Floyd exhibit. There is also a Balenciaga exhibit right now that looks fantastic but we only had time for one.
The Pink Floyd exhibit was amazing – so immersive and cool! I was really impressed by the technology in the headsets they used… they could sense where you were within the exhibit and so the programming changed as you walked through.
After the exhibit, Ruby and I sat (with her cute baby) in the courtyard of the V&A and had frozen yogurt.
And then I was off to Sketch in Mayfair to meet Nicolette and her family for tea!
I can’t say enough good things about Sketch. I had wanted to go for soooo long. Their tea service is indulgent and delicious (it starts off with caviar, and we all enjoyed a glass of rosé champagne). But the decor is really something else. Everything is pink and right now the entire place is lined with prints by David Shrigley (his stuff is so cool). And then there are the bathrooms! They are these super cool egg shaped pods. It’s just the coolest spot – and I hate saying it but it’s basically built for Instagram.
Okay so we are jumping around a bit here. After tea, I walked home to my hotel and that night, I had a lovely dinner for one at Lutyen’s Grill at The Ned. There was a live band playing Sinatra in the lobby of the hotel so I sat there for a while with my book and a glass of red wine… it was really lovely!
The next day, I was up and at ’em and met Nicolette at King’s Cross to take the train out to Cambridge. I didn’t realize how easy it is to get to Cambridge – if you are visiting London for more than just a few days, it would make for a really nice day trip. We stayed at The Tamburlaine, which I would definitely recommend. The rooms are really pretty and it’s conveniently located (right by the train station and a quick cab into town).
The beautiful bride!!!
I wore this Elizabeth and James dress. I love it. It’s very comfortable and the nude color is so pretty!
Cambridge was an absolute dream. Seriously. It felt as though we were at Hogwart’s! I wish I had more time to explore and see the town but will just have to plan a trip back to see Briony!!
I took the noon train back to London, and checked into my final hotel… Brown’s! I will be telling you more about it next week but I loved it. It’s actually the oldest hotel in London and in my favorite part of town (Mayfair). The rooms have so much character… I loved my suite so much!
That day, I did a bit of work, and wandered around Mayfair. I did a little bit of shopping, and then went home to my room to refresh and change before meeting Ruby for dinner at HIX Mayfair. We had a very indulgent dinner – perfect for our last night. Dover sole, champagne, berries with white chocolate for dessert… we were fancy ladies!
My new baby. The color is everything!
And then on Monday, I had a couple hours before my flight so I hopped over to the Royal Academy of Arts for their Summer Exhibition. The exhibit is running through August 20th, so if you are in town during that time I can’t recommend it enough. So much color, so much interesting texture… I left feeling so inspired and invigorated – it was the perfect end to my trip. Then, it was off to the airport… London, I miss you already!
Your posts make me reminisce about my solo three-week trip to London last summer, so much! I wish I’d gone to Sketch, but it was so out of my budget. You’re so lucky you got a chance to go when you were there, it’s beautiful!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Awww hope you go next time!!! It’s amazing!
Oh, so many places to check out in London on my next trip there in August! Thanks for the tips! Also, I love your new baby, true, the color is amazing!
Thanks, Natali!! xx
This looks like it was so much fun! It’s great to see your take on all of the interesting exhibitions going on in London.
Briana | youngsophisticate.com
thanks so much briana!!
Ah, I loved reading this! It was SOOOO wonderful having you there, and you squeezed in so many cool things on the trip (so many of my favourites, although I’m embarrassed to say I still haven’t made it to the Ned – need to rectify that ASAP!). Come back soon!!!
Love Briony xoxo
It was such a wonderful trip and LOVED CELEBRATING YOU! xoxo
I love London! Sketch looks so cute and I need to go when I go back to London! Looks like you had good weather while you were there! xx
Sketch is amazing!!! I hope you go!! xx